Lewandowski lands UEFA award: What made his season so special?

By Sports Desk October 01, 2020

Robert Lewandowski was the logical choice to win UEFA's Men's Player of the Year award - to give it to anyone else would have been a brave call.

How could a player who scored 55 goals in the 2019-20 season, including 15 in the Champions League, possibly be denied.

Fellow nominees Manuel Neuer and Kevin De Bruyne were also terrific last term, but this was a one-horse race.

UEFA duly got it right, rewarding Bayern Munich's Polish goal machine with a shiny trophy to sit alongside the medals he is stacking up at home.

WAS IT THE PERFECT SEASON?

Lionel Messi scored 58 goals from 57 games in Barcelona's treble-winning 2014-15 season, but Lewandowski's feat can sit comfortably in that company

The Bayern frontman netted his staggering haul from just 47 appearances, and it feels cruel that he cannot land a Ballon d'Or this year, with that award scrapped because of the pandemic.

Lewandowski would surely have walked off with that prized golden ball, after an exemplary year of leading the Bayern forward line that invited comparisons with the great Gerd Muller.

He is a shoo-in, surely, for the Best Men's Player prize at the FIFA awards, should that event go ahead.

In the Bundesliga, Lewandowski plundered 34 goals in 31 games, netting on average once every 81.24 minutes.

He was even deadlier in the Champions League, though.

TAKING EUROPE BY STORM

Bayern scored 43 goals in a Champions League campaign that culminated in their 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in Lisbon, and Lewandowski netted a heroic 15 of those.

He scored in every game he played until the final of the competition, when Kingsley Coman was the unlikely match-winner.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker netted a goal every 59.13 minutes, Opta statistics show, and he had five assists into the bargain.

Only PSG's Angel Di Maria, with six, had more assists over the Champions League campaign.

There were abundant highlights in Lewandowski's season, but one was certainly his performance against Red Star Belgrade on November 26, when he scored four goals in a little over 14 second-half minutes as Bayern won 6-0 in the Serbian capital.

GOALS GALORE, GONGS GALORE

Apart from the Ballon d'Or being off the table, Lewandowski is getting his dues.

Already recognised as Germany's player of the year, the UEFA recognition lavishes a fresh accolade on a player who dazzled throughout an unforgettable 2019-20 campaign.

Recalling the moment of Bayern's Champions League triumph, Lewandowski said on Thursday: "That meant a lot."

He harked back to being in the Borussia Dortmund side seven years ago that lost to Bayern in the Champions League final, saying: "I was very disappointed and sad. I said to myself that I can never give up.

"This year we did it. It is something you dream of from being a young boy. Now I know this feeling and I'm very proud of all the team because what we did in the season was very special."

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